Mikhail Le-Dantiu

Born: 1891, Chizhovo (Tver Province)
Died: 1917, Proskurov (Podolia Province)

Painter, graphic artist, theatrical designer, illustrator, art theorist. Descended from Camille Ledentu, a Frenchwoman who followed her Decembrist lover Vladimir Ivashev into exile in Siberia. Son of Vasily Le-Dantiu, a medical student exiled to the village of Chizhovo in Tver Province for revolutionary activities. Graduated from non-classical secondary school in St Petersburg (1908). Studied in the private studios of Jan Ciagli?skj (1908) and Mikhail Bernstein (1908) and at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1909–12, expelled along with Kirill Zdanevich). Member of the Union of Youth (1910–11). Helped Vladimir Tatlin to design the sets and costumes for a production of Mikhail Bonch-Tomashevsky’s folk drama King Maxemian and his Disobedient Son Adolf at the Moscow Circle of Literature and Art (1911). Lived in the Caucasus and Georgia, where he discovered Niko Pirosmani (1912). Befriended Mikhail Larionov and joined the Rayonist movement (1912–14). Founded the Bloodless Murder group with Vera Yermolaeva and Nikolai Lapshin (1915), illustrated the Albanian issue of the Bloodless Murder magazine (1916). Commanded an infantry regiment during the First World War (1915–17), killed when his train was shelled and crashed near Proskurov in the Ukraine (1917). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Union of Youth (1910, 1911, 1914), Donkey’s Tail (1912), Target (1913) and No. 4 Futurists, Rayonists, Primitive (1914) and one-man shows in the apartment of Vera Yermolaeva at 4 Baskov Lane in Petrograd (1915, 1917).

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